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James returns as Lakers beat Pacers 122-115

The Pacers head into their final game as the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference for the NBA's Play-In Tournament.
Credit: AP
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) goes up high to dunk the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

INDIANAPOLIS — Anthony Davis scored 28 points and LeBron James returned after a six-game absence to score 24 Saturday to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 122-115 victory over the Indiana Pacers Saturday afternoon in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. 

Heading into Sunday's final games of the NBA regular season, the Pacers are currently tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with Charlotte and Washington, but tiebreakers involving the tied teams, give Charlotte the eighth seed, Washington the ninth, and the Pacers the 10th seed.

The Pacers (33-38) could clinch the ninth seed and the right to host on Tuesday with a win Sunday in Tampa against Toronto. Charlotte and Washington meet Sunday, with the winner going to Boston for another play-in game and loser playing the Pacers. If the Pacers lose, they would have to travel to play the loser of the Hornets-Wizards game on Tuesday.

The Lakers can notch the No. 6 seed if they win at New Orleans on Sunday and Portland loses to Denver. If the Lakers finish No. 7, they will be in the play-in tournament against the No. 8 seed. 

Against the Lakers, Caris LeVert led the Pacers with 28 points.

James had missed the last six games trying to recover from a high ankle sprain. He returned Saturday, playing 28 minutes, hitting 11 of 22 shots. 

James had eight assists and seven rebounds. 

Davis missed the Lakers' previous game with a tight left thigh. He sank 9 of 18 shots and grabbed 10 rebounds.